Craeg Nolan was busy constructing piggy banks in his Rosemount garage and his intentions were to share the banks with youngsters this Christmas.
Nolan, 74, built wooden piggy banks for all 13 grandchildren. Then he decided to share his woodworking talent with children getting better or fighting for their lives at Children's Hospital.
His goal was to build 50 piggy banks to donate. Nolan died Sunday, Dec. 3, from pancreatic cancer, which took his life quickly.
"My dad has fought a life of heart disease and he had a transplant 14 years ago and a year or so ago he got really sick, and we thought we were going to lose him but he bounced back and this summer he started doing some woodworking projects," said daughter Alison Cromie. "He told me in the hospital after finding out about the cancer that he was determined to finish those piggy banks, and he asked me for our help because he is adamant about following through with his promise, despite the fact that he can't actually do the work himself."
All eight siblings and some grandchildren will be working together in the garage workshop. They plan to finish the piggy banks and deliver them to the hospital before Christmas to fulfill their father's dying wish.
His wife DiAnn Nolan cared for her husband through his health challenges during their 24 years of marriage. He was there for her when she fought off cancer.
Because her father faced many serious health challenges throughout his life, Cromie said she understands how precious life is and the importance of family. She wants others to know how it is vital to keep family ties strong throughout differences in life.
As a young teenager, Cromie recalls her father told her if she ever needed him, she could call for any reason and he would come and not be upset.
"He gave me his trust so I could rely on him," Cromie recalled, even after she ran away from home.
All the siblings look forward to honoring their father's dying wish. They plan to finish building and staining the 50 piggy banks and look forward to making the trip deliver the animal banks to Children's Hospital before Christmas.